Lord mayors in favour of legalising soft drugs chain
Source: [Binnenlands Bestuur
19 november 2008
More than half of all Dutch lord mayors with one or more coffeeshops on their territory, want to legalise the entire soft drugs-chain. The lord mayors want to get rid of the “frontdoor – backdoor problem, created by a policy that tolerates the sale of weed, but not the production and delivery.
That is the result of a telephone survey of weekly magazine Binnenlands Bestuur (Domestic Administration) among the 106 municipalities that have one or more coffeeshops.
Only nine in favour of ban
In total 88 lord mayors have expressed themselves: 54 are for a complete legalisation of coffeeshops, 25 want to continue tolerating according to current practice, nine lord mayors are in favour of a complete ban and six do not want to make a choice. Eleven lord mayors did not respond to the survey and one municipality currently does not have a lord mayor(Alphen aan den Rijn).
Almost nowhere do lord mayors experience problems related to the coffeeshops: most municipalities say they have things well under control. If problems are felt, than this has to do above all with so-called drug tourism in some municipalities in the frontier region with Belgium. German customers in the east of the Netherlands cause far less problems.
CDA-lord mayors divided
The lord mayors belonging to CDA (Christian Democratic Appeal – the largest party in the government coalition) in the municipalities with coffeeshops seem to be rather divided: roughly one third is for legalisation, one third for tolerance and one third for a complete ban. Most lord mayors who did not wish to express themselves are member of the CDA. The national party leadership of the CDA wants to ban coffeeshops. Commenting the survey, many lord mayors say they have enough of the ‘doubleness of the current situation ’. They request national policy makers in The Hague for more clarity.
Next friday, the magazine Binnenlands Bestuur will publish an extensive report of the surveyRepublish